A three-day workshop held to build the knowledge of communication specialists, educators and students have ended at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) with participants been called upon to create a common database of information to aid effective communication education across the West African sub-region.
According to the various speakers who spoke at the event, a network of communication educators will not only enrich communication education at the tertiary level but also provide a ‘sync-resource basket’ where practitioners, lecturers and students could tap into at all material moment.
Organized by the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) in partnership with All Varsity News Network (AVNN) and the Department of Public Relations Management of UPSA, the well-attended workshop which took 25-27th June, 2019, centred on the future of journalism and mass communication education in West-Central Africa and student media.
Speaking on the opportunities, challenges and future of AVNN, a Communications Consultant at WACREN and Senior Scholar at Fulbright, Dr Donna Oti, highlighted on the role the media play in the lives of students while on campus, and outside the classrooms. She said this gives them the opportunity to interact, network and acquire more knowledge and skills in relation to their field of study.
Dr Oti added that modern job demands that students are exposed to real life experience outside the classroom. She said it is the responsibility of communication educators to give assignments and activities that match the pressures and deadlines of corporate life. Using the work of a journalist to illustrate her point, she said one needs to cultivate the habit of gathering news for a daily publication, a cycle oft-repeated in order to be a relevant media organization.
“If your campus media is not posting daily, you are not giving students the experience of the deadline pressure of having things rotating through different stages. Again, you may learn the theory of Journalism, but until you work on a daily newspaper, you may not be able to acquire the needed experience,” she said.
Participants were drawn from selected universities including UPSA and some shared their experiences at the end of the 3-day programme.
“I learnt about new technologies and how institutions can benefit. I am particularly excited about the ‘EDUROM’ app which will benefit my students and Faculty,” said Mary Ayim Segbefia, Head of Broadcast Journalism Department, NAFTI.
Another participant, Belinda Dentaah Oduro said: “the workshop has been quite insightful. I have learnt a lot of similarities and challenges confronting my institution and other institutions. I again got to know other universities have resorted to online radio, so I think my outfit exploit same.”